STIRLING ALBION manager Stuart McLaren says loan signing Lewis McLear is capable of making a real impact during his time at Forthbank.

The youngster has joined from St Mirren until the end of the season, and the manager admits he is someone he has wanted to bring to the club for some time.

McLaren told Stirling News Sport: “Lewis is a player that we were aware of in the summer and we made some enquiries then about him coming on loan.

"He has got some Premiership experience and he is somebody that St Mirren think has great potential. We couldn’t quite get him in the summer, so we are delighted to get him on board now and I’m sure he will have a positive impact on the squad.

“What you will get with Lewis is whole-heartedness, and he has a lot of quality as an attacking player. He likes to play just off a main striker, which suits us, but he can play centrally and out wide.

"He is a very energetic player and I am sure that he’ll fit in and compliment what we have already got.

“He will be included in the squad against Montrose. I am not sure if we’ll include him from the start because we already have some good options in there but he will certainly be part of the squad.”

Stirling take on Montrose on Saturday hopeful of picking up their first win since they beat Annan in December, and McLaren admitted he is expecting the Gable Endies to provide another tough test.

He said: “I’m expecting Montrose to come and try to win the game. They have had a few good results recently.

"They are a team who reflect their manager – Paul Hegarty made a career out of being a no-nonsense manager full of grit and determination, and that is what Montrose have got.

"They are a very workmanlike team who have quality as well. Gary Fraser is up with the league’s top scorers so it will be difficult for us.

"But at home we always back ourselves, with the quality we have, to go and cause the opposition problems. We will need to have a high level of performance if we are to get the result we are after.”

The 40-year-old believes the match provides the Binos with a great chance to put some distance between themselves and the Angus club and strengthen their case for a place in the promotion spots.

McLaren said: “Everybody is aware that there is very little between the teams and that is reflected in the league standings, but as the season gets closer to the end I think we will see a separation between the top six teams and the rest.

"We need to get the results over the next few weeks to make sure we are part of that. We had a great opportunity last week to make some ground up on Queen’s Park and I thought the performance was great.

"We just couldn’t get the goal to make the difference but we have worked hard in training at that side of the game while maintaining focus on defending because defending gives you a solid platform to build on.

"It is a good opportunity and hopefully the lads will turn in a good performance and get us the win.”

Despite the club receiving some negative coverage thanks to off-field incidents, McLaren does not believe the players have anything to prove.

He added: “I don’t think the players have to respond. The club has made a statement, and all that needed to be said was covered. The players’ priority is to go out on a Saturday, put in good

performances and achieve the goals we have set out, and there is no extra motivation other than to go out and achieve what we set out to achieve at the start of the season.”

Meanwhile, striker Sandy Cunningham has left to join fellow League Two side Berwick Rangers on loan.